Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 8 ahead
The Walking Dead season 8 is progressing at breakneck speed, with the first half of the season taking place only over a couple of days. Now that Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom are engaged in an all-out war with the Saviors, things are getting quite messy - and deadly, as is to be expected when Rick Grimes is in charge of things.
With the midseason finale having now come and gone, we're looking back at all the deaths - both major and minor - throughout the season so far, preparing ourselves for even more mayhem when the critically-acclaimed zombie drama returns in February 2018.
In season 8, episode 2, "The Damned," Juan Gabriel Pareja made his non-triumphant return as Morales, a former member of Rick Grimes' group who hasn't been seen or heard from since the first season. In season 1, episode 5, "Wildfire," Morales and his family made the decision to leave the group and try their luck in Birmingham, AL, rather than go to the CDC with everyone else. While they made the right call in not being trapped at the CDC before it explodes, something happened along the way and Morales lost his family.
Morales showed up years later in "The Damned," holding Rick at gunpoint at one of the Saviors' outposts. As it turns out, Morales was found by the Saviors at some point between season 1 and season 8, and they took him in, made him into one of their own. Unfortunately, despite Rick's attempt to negotiate with Morales and bring him back to his side of the war, Daryl Dixon ends up killing Morales with his crossbow in season 8, episode 3, "Monsters." The prospect of an old character coming back into the fold was exciting, audiences thought Morales' brief return and exit was disappointing and rather pointless.
The Saviors bore the brunt the deaths in season 8 so far. They were immediately attacked in the season 8 premiere episode, "Mercy," and had an enormous horde of walkers descend upon the Sanctuary. What's more, Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom each attacked different outposts and left virtually none alive - except for the Hilltop's group. Jesus wanted to make a point that they are better than their enemy, so he brought the Saviors back to the Hilltop as prisoners (some ended up dying along the way, and one ended up being executed in the midseason finale).
The Kingdom, on the other hand, took no prisoners and slaughtered countless Saviors in their battles. And Alexandria's fighters, which is made up mostly of non-fighters, took a more interesting approach in defeating the Saviors. They trapped the enemy inside their compound and waited for the few that they killed to turn into walkers and kill the rest of the Saviors left alive. Among the people killed were Mara and Francine - but many nameless Saviors weren't able to get out in time, and those that did, most ended up dying later.
One of the first and most heartbreaking deaths to occur in season 8 was the death of Aaron's boyfriend, Eric Raleigh. Eric is among the group who initially didn't want to fight, but his hand was forced and he eventually grew to appreciate the cause. During Alexandria's attack on one of the Saviors' outposts, Eric was shot in the abdomen. Aaron took him to safety, but he eventually succumbed to his wounds and reanimated as a walker. Unfortunately, Aaron wasn't able to save his husband, nor put down the walker that Eric turned into.
The Hilltop's army & Neil
Rick Grimes may be leading the armed force against Negan, but Maggie can arguably be considered the entente's true leader - and that's an important distinction between the two characters. Even though Maggie is the more level-headed of the two, she still wants her revenge for what Negan did to her husband, Glenn, in the season 7 premiere episode. So, she aligned the Hilltop with Alexandria and the Kingdom in the fight against the Saviors - but it cost them. A number of the Hilltop's people were killed in their attack on one of the Saviors' outposts, but they managed to still come out on top.
Then, the Hilltop suffered another loss when their convoy was ambushed by the Saviors. Simon gave Maggie two options, one that ended with only one of her people dead - and she reluctantly chose to save the Hilltop so that they can live to fight another day. And so, Simon killed Neil, who was sitting in the same car as Maggie and Jesus. When they returned to Hilltop, Maggie made it abundantly clear that they would continue fighting, so she killed one of the Hilltop's prisoners and had him placed inside a coffin and sent to the Saviors, noting that they had 38 more prisoners to execute.
The Kingdom's army
Towards the end of season 8, episode 3, "Monsters," the Kingdom's army successfully killed more than 40 Saviors at one of the outposts. As they were putting down the reanimated Saviors, King Ezekiel noticed that they were being watched from a window inside the compound and immediately warned his people to take cover. Ezekiel's closest advisors and warriors shielded him from the barrage of .50 caliber bullets, without a moment's hesitation, and saved the King's life, but at the cost of their own. In the following episode, "Some Guy," Ezekiel appeared to be the only person who survived the attack, thanks to his people guarding him (including Daniel). Then, Alvaro showed up and tried helping the King to safety, but one of the Saviors ended up killing him, and thus left Ezekiel defenseless in his wounded state.